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UK Households Save Money on Gas & Electric Energy Bills by Switching suppliers - How to Switch Guide

ConsumerWatch / Utility Bills Mar 09, 2007 - 12:19 AM GMT

By: Shahla_Walayat

ConsumerWatch

After excessive hikes in gas & electric bills by energy suppliers during the past 2 years, many energy suppliers had failed to pass on the lower costs due to specifically the fall in the market price for gas, which has gone from a high of $16 to below $6.

Belatedly energy suppliers have started to cut into their excessive profits, as customers were still being billed as if there has been no fall in the price of gas. Already cuts have followed ranging from 15% for gas and 10% for electricity bills, with more to follow due to the fact that customers are able to switch suppliers and get much better deals.


British Gas started the ball rolling a few weeks ago, followed by NPower and more recently PowerGen. Unfortunately many of these price cuts for existing customers won't actually happen for sometime. I.e. PowerGen states its cuts will be applied to customer accounts from the 30th April 07.

However switching supplier can result in a much better deal and is relatively easy to do when using Uswitch.com

Why Should I switch Supplier ?
Suppliers are always changing their tariffs and prices, so regardless of which company you're with, you might still be able to save up to £170 EVERY year by switching energy suppliers, by using the online switching service Uswitch.com

How easy is it to switch Supplier ?
Switching energy suppliers is simple. The process is as follows:

  1. Compare all of the suppliers and packages using the Uswitch.com calculator.
  2. Select the most suitable option and fill in your personal details. To compare and sign up takes around five minutes.
  3. Uswitch.com will send you an email to confirm the switch.
  4. The details are processed and forwarded to the supplier.
  5. The supplier will contact you to confirm the date on which your new service will commence. You will have to take a meter reading on this date, to ensure you're not billed twice for the same energy.

Is switching energy suppliers a complicated process ?
No, around 100,000 people switch their gas and/or electricity suppliers every week and 90% of them say switching is easy, according to an independent MORI survey.

Will there be any interruption to my supply?
No. Your new supplier will continue to use exactly the same wires, pipes, and meters as you currently use. Your new supplier will also contact your existing supplier to arrange the transfer of your supply. The only change you will notice is the company name at the top of your bill.

If I decide to switch, do I need to contact my current energy supplier?
Your new supplier will arrange the transfer for you. Your new supplier will take a final meter reading from you (at the date of transfer), so your current supplier can produce a final bill (you may need to ensure this is done at the time of transfer).

Can I get gas and electricity from the same supplier?
Yes. Many suppliers now supply both gas and electricity and offer combined plans that include incentives, discounts or reduced prices. These plans are often referred to as "dual fuel" deals.

Service Rating - what is it, and how is it calculated for each company?
Uswitch.com has developed an impartial rating system which assesses the quality of service provided by energy suppliers. Each company is measured on its range of services, current and past performance, and record with the regulator. The rankings provide a percentage for each fuel type for each supplier, with 100 per cent being the best and ten per cent being the worst. To achieve a high rating a supplier must offer a range of services including varying payment methods, call centre support and extras such as green energy tariffs. In addition, they must not have had any actions taken against them by regulatory bodies in the last six months.

By Shahla Walayat
http://www.moneyforums.co.uk

The UK Money Saving & Investing Forums is a free online publication providing, FREE Online Tools including Credit Score Calculator and the Savings Calculator . Money Saving Guides such as Credit Card Stoozing , Savings Tree , Money Saving Guide . Personal Finance Discussion Forums open to ALL, supported by experienced moderators, to discuss any personal finance topics from 0% Credit card deals , to the state of the UK Housing market . The best Savings & Deposit Accounts etc


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